A Direct Response Copywriter is concerned with Salesmanship.
Oversimplified, I agree, but essentially, Salesmanship.
It was first defined as “Salesmanship in print” By John E Kennedy in 1904 but it was later re-defined as “Salesmanship Multiplied”.
So, it’s been around far longer than the internet.
The funny thing is that most people would run 10 miles if asked to make or endure a sales presentation, it’s the very last thing they would volunteer to do.
Most people think of salespeople as pushy, and very obnoxious.
And if given the choice between talking to one for a half hour or having our wisdom teeth removed we would rather have our visit to the dentist.
But that’s bad salesmanship.
Good salesmanship endeavours to discover what the client’s motivation to buy is before offering a solution to that problem (which hopefully we can fulfil).
Our problem is a communication one.
Let me explain…
Clearly, being a salesman in print is a bit tricky, we cannot ask the prospect what their urgent problem is, and we cannot change our presentation to align it to that problem.
These are big advantages real face-to-face salespeople have over us.
But there are things we can do.
We can wave a big flag (our headline) that promises to solve an urgent problem in a marketplace.
We can give something valuable to gain interest and trust.
And we can unquestionably prove our promise.
Then, if we make a proposal based on urgency, we have a very good chance of making a sale.
The thing is: to achieve all of that, all at the same time is very difficult, which is why advertisers need a trained direct response copywriter. Preferably ones who have actually done some real sales.
Then test, test, test.